London

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:26 pm on 1st July 1983.

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Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Westminster North 1:26 pm, 1st July 1983

It is basically unfair that people of ordinary or average means should have to contribute in that way. I understand that the rate equalisation scheme will increase from nearly £23 million in 1982–83 to nearly £24 million in 1983–84. The scheme is damaging the interests of central London in a big way.

The business community is voting with its feet and moving its headquarters and offices out of the city of Westminster. We are increasingly blighted by that. In addition, domestic residents are unable to keep up with the ever increasing cost of the rates and have to move out. Those are issues which cannot be ignored for much longer. They require a sensible and balanced examination so that we can put the administration of London right again.

People who live in the heart of London have many extra pressures to suffer. For example, some live in streets where the estate agents have a permanent array of signs. That may seem a small point, but such signs blight the streets and destroy the business communities there. That issue must also be looked at and is one of the many important environmental issues which I hope inner London and other hon. Members who represent London constituencies will be able to return to in future debates.

Those are the issues that concern ordinary people and on which we look to the Government for support, interest and concern. I hope that during the years ahead in this Parliament we shall find solutions to those issues on behalf of the people who live in London.